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Title: Educational psychologists and youth offending services : working together to improve the educational outcomes of young offenders : an action research project
Author: Parnes, H.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7226 0944
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The poor educational outcomes of young people in the youth justice (YJ) system are well documented. In England, Youth Offending Services (YOSs) work with young offenders, and part of their remit is to engage them in education. Educational psychologists (EPs) aim to improve the educational outcomes of young people, using a range of psychological frameworks and tools. However, multi-agency practice between YOSs and EPs is under-developed. This project aims to explore how EPs may support YOSs, by answering the following research questions: a) What are the challenges and opportunities to youth offender education, both identified by research and from the perspective of YOS staff? b) What YOS activities can help to build upon opportunities and overcome the challenges? c) Can these activities be compiled into an evidence-informed self-review framework which will be implemented to inform YOS practice? d) To what extent can an evidence-informed self-review influence practice development between EPs and YOSs? An Action Research approach is taken. Following a review of relevant literature, to explore the perceived challenges and opportunities to youth offender education from the perspective of YOS staff, semi-structured interviews were conducted with staff (n=9) from an Inner London YOS. A Thematic Analysis was conducted. YOS and EPS case records were also analysed, to explore the extent to which EPs are involved with young people known to the YOS, and how much their involvement appears to impact on YOS practice. The TA identified five superordinate themes, relating to descriptions of the ROLES they, or other professionals fulfil, the STRENGTHS they perceive in the work, descriptions of YOUNG PEOPLE FACTORS and SYSTEMIC FACTORS which impede or facilitate educational progress, and the perceived NEEDS of the service. The analysis of case records suggested that information-sharing between the YOS and the EPS was limited. These findings were combined with a review of research into best practice in the education of young offenders, and used to create an evidence-informed self-evaluation framework. The framework allows YOSs to identify strengths and needs with regards to educational practice, and develop an action plan for improvement, including abstracting aspects of EP practice which may be helpful. The self-review process was piloted with the participating YOS, and reflections as to this experience and its utility, as well as recommendations for future practice, are provided.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available